Jenna from the USA talks about her life at Edinburgh Napier University.
Jenna Sturgis, MSc Applied Forensic Psychology and Criminology
“There's definitely a lot of charm and things to do at Edinburgh Napier”
Overall, Edinburgh Napier is a fantastic university. It has three unique campuses that are conveniently located and have plenty of places to eat and study with an amazing gym. I've found that all the technology seems to work and none of my professors have ever had to take class time out to call IT to fix something which happened a lot at my undergraduate university. The library is one of my favourite parts because of how many great places there are to study and how everything you need (printing, food, bathroom) is right there.
There's also a huge variety of clubs or societies to join. I didn't completely join any society, but I have attended events put on by the International Society and the Psychology Society, and found it to be a great way to meet people and explore Edinburgh. There's definitely a lot of charm and things to do at Edinburgh Napier.
“The staff have been very understanding and helpful”
I chose both Edinburgh Napier and MSc in Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology for a lot of reasons but I can narrow them down to location, cost, reputation and my own interest. I looked at other universities but only a handful had a variety of psychology courses and even fewer had forensic psychology as an option. In addition, the cost was great compared not only to other UK universities but US ones as well. There's so many opportunities and things to do in Edinburgh and I personally didn't find the cost of living to be very different from my hometown.
In terms of the course itself, I have found it to be very different than courses in the US. There are no tests, homework, or assignments, just “strongly suggested" reading and two assessments due in the middle and end of the trimester. This was off-putting to me for the first few weeks because I prefer to have some kind of task or assignment to apply what I've learned about but I've slowly been getting used to the system. The staff have been very understanding and helpful about the transition, and have always answered any question and made time to sit down with me when I needed it.
“I personally can't see why anyone would choose to go anywhere else”
I absolutely love living in Edinburgh. It's a perfect blend between city/suburb/country life due to its size and location. There's always something to do, whether it’s dining, a show, outdoor activities, clubbing or just exploring. The bus service is like none I've ever experienced and it's so easy to get to anywhere within the city. There's also a lot of companies that do trips outside the city for a decent cost and I've been able to see much of Scotland this way. I was able to visit the Inner Hebrides, St. Andrew's, Inverness, Glen Coe, and a dozen other places that I can't even remember the names of.
The only complaint I have is that I wish more stores and restaurants were open late, but that is a small price to pay to live here. Other than that, I really have nothing bad to say about Edinburgh. I personally can't see why anyone would choose to go anywhere else.
“I definitely need a job where I am moving and able to travel”
For much of my undergraduate studies, I focused on sexual offenders and wanted to work with the population in one way or another. I moved around from therapy and rehabilitation to probation services to research but couldn't settle on which one I wanted to do. As time has gone on, I have found that I am not the type of person who can work in an office job. I definitely need a job where I am moving and able to travel and have recently taken an interest in the FBI, US Embassy, DEA and other agencies that work on a more global level.
I would love to be able to study and work with criminals internationally and see how crime varies across the world. Luckily, Edinburgh Napier has a diverse group of students and some of the courses I'm taking offer a look at how things are done in different countries. I've been able to meet so many people from all over the world and it has only made me want to travel even more. Ideally, I'd love to get a PhD before settling into a job but it's expensive so I may have to wait.